Leckie ready to turn up heat on Saudi Arabia
SOCCEROOS boss Ange Postecoglou can rely on ex-Adelaide United star Mathew Leckie to keep the pressure on Saudi Arabia if the going gets tough at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
The 26-year-old has just come off the back of a second Bundesliga season in Germany with Ingolstadt, playing 62 games in the second-best league in Europe, according to UEFA calculations.
"I feel good," Leckie said in Adelaide.
"Having the week off was a small way to reset a little bit and being away from football for a week is always good.
"I'm ready to get back into it. For the team it started off really tough, we started slow and were chasing the other teams for most of the season.
"I was pretty happy in terms of how I was able to stay fit and healthy and play a lot of games, which is important.
"The season in general, I was pretty happy with it.
"I would have liked to get on the score sheet a couple more times but the chances were there and I was able to score a couple in the last game so I'm still very confident in being able to score.
"If I keep working hard they (goals) will come.
"Ingolstadt was a team I played two seasons with but it was always tough with the players that we had and the financial side, so it's a little bit of a different story now."
His versatility last week convinced Hertha Berlin, a club which attracted an average of 50,267 fans to home matches at the Olympia Stadion last season, to sign him on a multi-year deal.
Hertha paid about $4.5 million for Leckie with the club's coach Pal Dardai revealing he was keen on converting the speedster to a right back or wing-back.
That should please Postecoglou, who intends to stick to the 3-4-3 formation he has deployed over the past two FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.
Hertha also qualified for the Europa League, finishing in sixth place, with Leckie expecting to be a key in the group stage of the competition.
He will return to Germany before the start of the season in August after a gruelling month with the Socceroos.
Leckie will also have inside information on 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany when the teams face off at the Russian FIFA Confederations Cup this month.
"In terms of the season being over and starting up again in August, obviously playing the Confederations Cup, we're away for a month so hopefully I can work something out with my club that I get a bit of time off after the Cup as well," he said.
"It is what it is, it's part of being a national team player but it's also an honour to be here.
After leaving Adelaide in 2011 on a free transfer Leckie has earned his German clubs Borussia Moenchengladbach, FSV Frankfurt and Ingolstadt about $6.17 million in transfer fees.
Socceroos fans can interact with their heroes at Adelaide Oval during an open training session on Sunday from 3pm.